23ú Samhain 2001
``Gildea/Owen controversy distracts from real issue'' - Ó Caoláin
Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today participated in Dáil proceedings. He explained that he had not joined the Fine Gael, Labour and Green Party boycott of the Dail chamber. He said:
``I took part in the Dáil debate on the Extradition Bill today. I am not involved in the current boycott of the Dáil chamber.
``Deputy Tom Gildea has withdrawn his allegation against Deputy Nora Owen and apologised. I see no purpose in a motion of censure and the Fine Gael pursuit of government time for such a motion.
``This controversy has distracted from the real issue.
``Deputy Gildea made his remarks during debate on an unprecedented motion from Fine Gael which detailed the catalogue of allegations against the gardai in County Donegal and called for a public inquiry. I fully supported that motion. Deputies Gildea and Blaney, both representing County Donegal, voted against the motion. If they had supported it the motion would have been passed by 74 votes to 71 and the government defeated.
``The McBrearty case and the wider Donegal Garda scandal has been lost sight of by virtue of Deputy Gildea's allegations. Have Fine Gael taken the bait? The focus should return to the issue raised by Fine Gael in their Private Members motion.''
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